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Biography of T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot (1888 - 1965)

Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, of an old New England family. He was educated at Harvard and did graduate work in philosophy at the Sorbonne, Harvard, and Merton College, Oxford. He settled in England, where he was for a time a schoolmaster and a bank clerk, and eventually literary editor for the publishing house Faber & Faber, of which he later became a director. He founded and, during the seventeen years of its publication (1922-1939), edited the exclusive and influential literary journal Criterion. In 1927, Eliot became a British citizen and about the same time entered the Anglican Church.

Eliot has been one of the most daring innovators of twentieth-century poetry. Never compromising either with the public or indeed with language itself, he has followed his belief that poetry should aim at a representation of the complexities of modern civilization in language and that such representation necessarily leads to difficult poetry. Despite this difficulty his influence on modern poetic diction has been immense. Eliot's poetry from Prufrock (1917) to the Four Quartets (1943) reflects the development of a Christian writer: the early work, especially The Waste Land (1922), is essentially negative, the expression of that horror from which the search for a higher world arises.

In Ash Wednesday (1930) and the Four Quartets this higher world becomes more visible; nonetheless Eliot has always taken care not to become a "religious poet". and often belittled the power of poetry as a religious force. However, his dramas Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Family Reunion (1939) are more openly Christian apologies. In his essays, especially the later ones, Eliot advocates a traditionalism in religion, society, and literature that seems at odds with his pioneer activity as a poet. But although the Eliot of Notes towards the Definition of Culture (1948) is an older man than the poet of The Waste Land, it should not be forgotten that for Eliot tradition is a living organism comprising past and present in constant mutual interaction. Eliot's plays Murder in the Cathedral (1935), The Family Reunion (1939), The Cocktail Party (1949), The Confidential Clerk (1954), and TheElderStatesman(1959) were published in one volume in 1962; Collected Poems 1909-62 appeared in 1963.



45 Poems written by T.S. Eliot

The poems are by default sorted according to volume, but you can also choose to sort them alphabetically or by page views.

Volume | Alphabetically | [Page Views] | Comments | First Lines


Page ViewsPoemComments
49568 Macavity: The Mystery Cat Comments and analysis of Macavity: The Mystery Cat by T.S. Eliot 48 Comments
27519 Preludes Comments and analysis of Preludes by T.S. Eliot 537 Comments
27347 The Rum Tum Tugger Comments and analysis of The Rum Tum Tugger by T.S. Eliot 11 Comments
25741 The Hippopotamus Comments and analysis of The Hippopotamus by T.S. Eliot 31 Comments
22282 The Old Gumbie Cat Comments and analysis of The Old Gumbie Cat by T.S. Eliot 28 Comments
21673 The Waste Land Comments and analysis of The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot 16 Comments
19115 Sweeney among the Nightingales Comments and analysis of Sweeney among the Nightingales by T.S. Eliot 892 Comments
17660 Rhapsody on a Windy Night Comments and analysis of Rhapsody on a Windy Night by T.S. Eliot 283 Comments
17084 A Cooking Egg
16244 Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town Comments and analysis of Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town by T.S. Eliot 18 Comments
14080 Morning at the Window Comments and analysis of Morning at the Window by T.S. Eliot 218 Comments
13850 Gus: The Theatre Cat Comments and analysis of Gus: The Theatre Cat by T.S. Eliot 82 Comments
12577 Growltiger's Last Stand Comments and analysis of Growltiger's Last Stand by T.S. Eliot 3 Comments
11217 Four Quartets 2: East Coker
9925 Aunt Helen Comments and analysis of Aunt Helen by T.S. Eliot 268 Comments
8762 Four Quartets 3: The Dry Salvages Comments and analysis of Four Quartets 3: The Dry Salvages by T.S. Eliot 1 Comment
8658 Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar Comments and analysis of Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar by T.S. Eliot 3 Comments
8427 Mr. Eliot’s Sunday Morning Service
6122 Mr. Apollinax
6038 The Hollow Men Comments and analysis of The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot 1248 Comments
5875 Lune de Miel
5658 Dans le Restaurant Comments and analysis of Dans le Restaurant by T.S. Eliot 2 Comments
5365 Le Directeur
5104 Journey Of The Magi Comments and analysis of Journey Of The Magi by T.S. Eliot 83 Comments
4997 Ash Wednesday Comments and analysis of Ash Wednesday by T.S. Eliot 141 Comments
4647 Mélange Adultère de Tout
3213 The Ad-Dressing Of Cats Comments and analysis of The Ad-Dressing Of Cats by T.S. Eliot 230 Comments
2202 Four Quartets 1: Burnt Norton Comments and analysis of Four Quartets 1: Burnt Norton by T.S. Eliot 27 Comments
1549 Mr. Mistoffelees Comments and analysis of Mr. Mistoffelees by T.S. Eliot 226 Comments
1494 Gerontion Comments and analysis of Gerontion by T.S. Eliot 542 Comments
1324 Portrait of a Lady Comments and analysis of Portrait of a Lady by T.S. Eliot 462 Comments
1243 The Song Of The Jellicles Comments and analysis of The Song Of The Jellicles by T.S. Eliot 11 Comments
1226 Whispers of Immortality Comments and analysis of Whispers of Immortality by T.S. Eliot 13 Comments
1093 Old Deuteronomy Comments and analysis of Old Deuteronomy by T.S. Eliot 3 Comments
1083 Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat Comments and analysis of Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat by T.S. Eliot 104 Comments
1032 The Naming Of Cats Comments and analysis of The Naming Of Cats by T.S. Eliot 124 Comments
931 La Figlia che Piange Comments and analysis of La Figlia che Piange by T.S. Eliot 292 Comments
923 Cousin Nancy Comments and analysis of Cousin Nancy by T.S. Eliot 3 Comments
877 Conversation Galante Comments and analysis of Conversation Galante by T.S. Eliot 82 Comments
861 Hysteria Comments and analysis of Hysteria by T.S. Eliot 78 Comments
788 Sweeney Erect Comments and analysis of Sweeney Erect by T.S. Eliot 83 Comments
635 Mungojerrie And Rumpelteazer Comments and analysis of Mungojerrie And Rumpelteazer by T.S. Eliot 20 Comments
402 The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Comments and analysis of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot 830 Comments
256 Four Quartets 4: Little Gidding Comments and analysis of Four Quartets 4: Little Gidding by T.S. Eliot 272 Comments
155 The Boston Evening Transcript Comments and analysis of The Boston Evening Transcript by T.S. Eliot 30 Comments


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